Why did I choose to read this book?
We Were Liars was gripping with an excellent twist, and it’s been awhile since Lockhart came out with a new book, so of course I had to try and snag a DRC.
What is this book about?
This book is about rich people who summer off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and don’t have to bear the legal consequences of their actions due to wealth and privilege. They suffer the emotional consequences, and how the different characters navigate coping with these consequences makes the story move.
Family of Liars is also a prequel to We Were Liars, so if you haven’t read that one yet you’ll want to because FoL spoils a lot of the suspense that is built up in WWL. Both happen on the same island.
What is notable about the story?
It’s helpful that the characters of this story are contained on their island, because in the context of the real world, their problems would seem even more meaningless. Maybe the major event wouldn’t have even happened. The isolation of this family inside the bubble of their wealth is required to make this story work. In any other book it would have caused me to put it down (I’m not a big fan of reading about the adventures of the super rich in my fiction) but much like she did in We Were Liars, Lockhart managed to lead me past that unsavory element and convinced me to care about the characters.
I like the exploration of which lies are worth saying alongside a discussion about what a family really is. What’s worth covering up to maintain the family integrity? Who qualifies as part of the family? Lockhart’s characters will show you what it means to defend and protect family, and it’ll be up to you to decide if it’s right.
Was anything not so great?
It’s 2022 and I only have so much empathy to give, so any book that has characters that own their own island and make a phone call to get their kids into the ivy league isn’t really my cup of tea. I only read this one because I trusted the author to damage the characters enough that I felt like they didn’t walk away free and clear. If you’ve been struggling with finances maybe skip this one.
What’s the verdict?
A solid 3 stars on Goodreads. It was good, but it didn’t blow my mind, and it’s been so long since We Were Liars that it lacked the excitement that a prequel might have carried. If you need a quick read and there’s nothing pressing on the TBR, see if your local library has a copy on hand.
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